Want to work from home but don’t know how? It is possible to make money from home. Here are 5 ways that you can turn your dream of working at home into a reality.

1. Contract work with a virtual company. More and more companies are offering home based jobs. Many are customer service or technical support positions. Most are contract jobs but some offer employment and even benefits. Some companies to look at are Alpine Access, Arise Virtual Solutions, Convergys, Custom Loyal, LiveOps, VIPDesk, West At Home and Working Solutions.

2. Telecommute. If you are lucky enough to have a job that can easily be done at home then you are closer to the dream than most. Put together a proposal that focuses on how telecommuting would benefit your boss and your company. It’s all about what’s in it for them. Do you homework and include statistics on how telecommuting increases productivity and cuts costs. Be prepared to be flexible. Your supervisor may not be thrilled with the idea of you working at home. Offer to try it out for 30 days, or maybe one day per week so that you can prove yourself.

If your job is not well suited for telecommuting, you can search for one that is. There are many work at home jobs out there. The most common fields for telecommuters are sales, writing, web design, web development, programming, translation and customer service.

3. Freelancing. There are many good freelance sites out there. What they do is provide a place where you, as a freelancer can bid on jobs that others post. Some examples are oDesk and eLance. They generally take a percentage of what the employer pays you in order to provide this service. This can be a good option for someone who is trying to build a portfolio or for anyone looking for contract work.

4. Work locally. Consider hanging out a virtual shingle in your area. You could offer your services as a Virtual Assistant to local businesses. For many business owners there is a certain area of their business that they don’t particularly enjoy or don’t have the knowledge to do well. This might be bookkeeping, marketing or sales.

5. Start a home business. A home business can be the perfect work at home solution for many people. The possibilities are endless. You could start a business from scratch or start a business with an existing company like Ameriplan or Avon.

If you think you may want to start a home business but aren’t sure what you want to do, then some brainstorming might help you. Get out a pad of paper and a pen and start jotting down the things that you feel you are good at and that you have experience in.

Next, make a list of the things that you really enjoy doing. Don’t worry about whether you think you could make money doing them. Just make a list of all of the hobbies, tasks and various things that you have fun doing. This should be really easy!

Think about the skills and how they relate to the things you like to do. At this point, a picture should start emerging. Maybe you are really good at working with kids and you’re super-organized and you also enjoy cooking and decorating…. How about starting a Party Planning business?

So there you have 5 ways that you can work from home and make money.